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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Escape Room Reviews: The Pharaoh's Curse

Company: The Hidden Passage
Room: The Pharaoh’s Curse
Date Played: 2/4/18
Player Count: 2, which is not enough.
Success:  Total failure!

Premise: Walking along one day you slip into some quicksand and find yourself in a spooky underground chamber! 

Immersion: A little bit of a mixed bag. The production design is fantastic. The rooms and walls and props look great, but there are a lot of digital keypads for ancient Egypt.

Highlights: A lot of care went into this room. The puzzles are pretty clever. The customer service was excellent.

Lowlights: The mix of ancient and modern set design. We skipped over some elements that seemed so off-theme that we didn’t initially think they were part of the game. I felt bad about accidentally opening a lock too soon and skipping over a couple of things. One other lowlight, of course, is losing by a lot. I felt new. (Except of course, our first few games when we were new were successes.)

And Finally:  Most of our group no-showed on us. Word on the street is that this room is large and has a lot to do, and is worth doing with a medium sized group. I'm sure this would have helped, and it's not Hidden Passage's fault (as far as I know). Playing as a duo, we weren’t even close to finishing. As we exited, I thought that maybe I had not seen enough of the room to give it a fair place on my list, but we succeed in rooms all the time as a couple, and I think the things that bugged me would still bug me if we won.  More than I regret losing, I regret squandering the opportunity to experience this game as it was meant to be played. Still, if I have to put a subjective number on it, I guess that out of 44 games played, I’d rank this at 35. 

How to book this room yourself: Visit

#2,424: The Cloverfield Paradox

Ingrid Goes West - ★★★★☆
This is the most realistic depiction of living in Los Angeles I've ever seen.

It Might Get Loud - ★★☆☆☆
I would like to see more documentaries with such a narrow interest, preferably on subjects that I care about.  It’s fun that Jack White thinks he’s into minimalism.

Dealt - ★★★☆☆
Richard Turner is a man who spent his life wanting to be known as a card sharp first and as a blind guy not-at-all. So it seems almost cruel that the documentary about him is a movie about a blind guy who is blind and developed fantastic skills with cards and also he's blind.

Still, I love seeing people with that bit for obsession flipped.

The Cloverfield Paradox - ★★★☆☆
The Cloverfield movies are so loosely connected to one another that if not for their titles it would just be a fun fan theory. Watch them in any order.

Appearing out of nowhere was a delightful trick. More than either of the others this movie is a mixed bag, but I still had a big smile on my face all through the first half. The B-plot is super thin. The effects are solid. Good actors smooth over some rough lines. It's better than a Syfy original or the typical Netflix sci-fi feature. This movie is like if one of those movies' uncle died and left it some real money.

#2,420: The Shape of Water

The New 8-bit Heroes - ★½☆☆☆
I stumbled a kickstarter campaign for a software toolkit for creating NES games. The creators said they came up with it in the making of their own game, and this movie is the story of how that went. Like most video game documentaries, it's deeply unsatisfying.

I think this movie is badly written, too long, and jammed too far up the director/producer/writer/star’s dream of being a reality tv star to focus on the interesting parts of his own story, but by the end of it I guess I can kind of admire his grit.

I, Tonya - ★★☆☆☆
I can respect the craftsmanship on display in this movie, but it is simply not for me. Give Allison Janney her prize, keep working on the computers to do that creepy face swap thing, throw in all of the cues to being a piece of scrappy, down-in-the-dirt filmmaking (with huge name actors and award season aspirations) you want.

I'm not saying you shouldn't see this, I'm saying I shouldn't.

The Shape of Water - ★★★★★
Do you want deep one hybrids? Because this is how you get deep one hybrids.

The Shape of Water is this year’s La La Land insomuch as all of the hype made going to see it feel like homework. Even more so because I don’t think of myself as being a fan of Guillermo Del Toro (or any movie Sally Hawkins has ever made), but he deserves that Golden Globe for directing and any other prize he can win. I liked The Post just fine, mostly because it looks like a Spielberg movie, but the shape of water looks like cinema. It’s a beautifully done adventure. And it had more in common with La La Land than I was expecting!

Octavia Spencer is getting to be as typecast as Jessica Chastain or Matthew Goode, but maybe not in as fun of a role. I guess if you have the opportunity to be in a good movie you take it, even if you have already played that character a few times. In fact, maybe she’s exactly the same character she is in Hidden Figures, just 10 years earlier. If that’s the case then it’s great to know everything works out for her. Maybe she receives a nice settlement so she doesn't tell everyone about her creepy boss and it puts her on the career path to middle management.

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